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Europe Warns Employers To Stop Snooping Through Applicants’ Social Media Profiles Without Prior Notice

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As part of the lengthy document clarifying data protection laws that apply to employers across 28 EU countries, Europe has sent a message to employers to desist from the act if peeking through social media profile of potential hires. With a legal backing from the European Union Protection Rules, CNN reports:

“The rules require employees to issue a disclaimer before they check applicants’ online accounts, including Facebook , Instagram, Snapchat Twitter and LinkedIn.”

Any action other than this would attract legal judgement as the company would be in breach of European Union data protection rules. This data prohibits employers from using social media data as a yardstick for recruitment except it is “relevant and necessary for a particular job”.

CNN reports further that “surveys suggest that employers are increasingly using social media to vet jobs candidate. In the US, 70% of the employers use social media as part of the screening process according to a recent surveyor more than 2300 hiring managers and HR professionals by CareerBuilders”.

Sometime in 2012, Forbes opined that snooping through job seekers’ Facebook pages before inviting them for interview was a good idea as it gave a reflection on the potential hires’ image. No employer wants to have a subordinate with terrible red flags as drinking, bad mouthing former employers, and lying about their qualifications. With relevant details from their Facebook page, an employer can tel which job seeker is employable.

LinkedIn got an exception from Peter Church, a technology specialist at Law firm Linklaters. He told the BBC that the social network was a “fair game” because it was set up for individuals to manage their professional identity and build their professional network. Many job seekers have this site to their advantage.

The issue of privacy concern will continue to thrive so long as we continuously provide details to every social networking site and applications.

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